Humanities 202: The Medieval Vision

From WCCLEpedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Humanities 202: The Medieval Vision brings Wyoming Catholic College sophomores a vision of the full scope of the medieval project of reconciling and saving what was good in Rome with Christian thought and theology,culminating in the epic work of Dante's Divine Comedy.


Early in his Confessions, St. Augustine expresses his dismay that, as a young man, he wept for Dido in the Aeneid but not for the state of his own soul. With this major work of spiritual autobiography, a new Christian vision emerges full- blown and with it a major new form that recognizes the necessity for a conversion or baptism of the order that has come before. The journey of Aeneas to found Rome becomes the journey of the soul to its new founding in God—the drama of conversion also glimpsed in the Christianization of northern barbarians by Rome. After considering the encounter with Lady Philosophy in Boethius, the course turns to the courtly tradition and the call of Beatrice in Dante’s Commedia, the fullest flowering of the medieval synthesis between the pagan past and the Christian present. In this great resurgence and reworking of the ancient epic, Dante is guided by the classical past in Virgil, and thus serves as the herald of the Renaissance. At the same time, the Commedia is the greatest literary expression of the medieval Scholastic mind, the poetic equivalent to Chartres cathedral or Aquinas’s Summa.

Works Used

  • St. Augustine, Confessions
  • Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy
  • Dante, Commedia: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso

Typically Taught By